Ramadan is a test for one's patience, perseverance for peace and not an occasion to parade one's arrogance and ignorance over the medium and message of Islam. I refer to Malaysia's "cow head" protest march over the relocation of a Hindu temple. Educate, not aggravate. Wage peace, not war. Help the Malaysian Indians, not further incite hate on them. Resolve this issue through peaceful means.
Cow-head politics: Fear not, those who misrepresents Islam
by Azly Rahman
In the name of Allah Most Gracious Most Compassionate
1. By Al-'Asr (the time).
2. Verily! Man is in loss,
3. Except those who believe (in Islâmic Monotheism) and do righteous good deeds, and recommend one another to the truth (i.e. order one another to perform all kinds of good deeds (Al-Ma'rûf)which Allâh has ordained, and abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds (Al-Munkar)which Allâh has forbidden), and recommend one another to patience (for the sufferings, harms, and injuries which one may encounter in Allâh's Cause during preaching His religion of Islâmic Monotheism or Jihâd, etc.).
-- Surah AlAsr (Time)
For Muslims (those who submit to the Will of Allah) and those who are embarking on a journey of peace, Ramadan is a time for deep reflection and contemplation on the sufferings of the self and of others. It is a month in which the oftentimes arrogant, boastful, aggressive self retreats to this Inner Cave and work hard towards cleansing the body, the mind, the spirit, and the soul. It is a long but reflective journey Muslims believe must be taken.
The incident of a group of 50 Malaysians carrying a severed cow head, marching to the Selangor State Government’s Office is an example of a misrepresentation of Ramadan. It is a dangerous act that disrespects the holy month. Muslims should be outraged at the gross misrepresentation of Islam. One must read The Sepoy Rebellion during British India in order to understand where this might lead us to, in the worst case scenario. One must also not forget Malaysia’s Kampong Medan incident a few years back in order to understand the anatomy and chemistry of hate.
The "cow-head march" incident is a mindless act and Malaysians are becoming weary of these stunts that seem strange and timely and seem to become more and more hideous as we see the intensification of campaigns to take over this or that government. The phrase “Allahu Akbar” (Allah is Great) is abused. The greatness of Allah lies not in allowing a group of people to humiliate the religion of others. Allah’s greatness lies in the guide given to us to respect the religion of others, and to understand what the universal message of Islam is. Everything is good in the hands of the author of things, everything degenerates in the hands of Man, said the French philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau. In Islam, Evil is the work of Man, and Good comes from the Creator. Those who humiliate others are those who allow nafs amarrah (lowest/animalistic stage of the soul) to take charge of their actions.
Muslims should condemn the group of 50 and the authorities including the religious authorities should investigate if this is a seditious act against Islam.
I do hope that the protesters who abuse Ramadan ask themselves what is triggering their intent to march and what forces, if any, are behind their act. If necessary, the group can seek legal help in resolving this.
Non-Muslims need not fear the consequences of these antics or the action of the few who are misrepresenting Islam. You have the brotherhood and sisterhood of thinking and feeling Muslims who know what is acceptable and what is not in a multiracial society.